Aberdeen Standard’s PE head to depart

Graham McDonald is leaving as part of a PE and VC restructuring process, the firm tells PEI.

The global head of private equity at Aberdeen Standard Investments is to leave as part of a restructuring process.

Graham McDonald, who took over as head of the newly merged entity’s PE business in January 2018, will step back in the new year before officially leaving the business in May, according to an email announcing his departure received by sister publication Private Equity International.

“It has been a fascinating journey and I leave a first-class team well equipped to continue to grow the business and meet the demands of an ever expanding client base,” he wrote.

In a statement to PEI, a spokesman for Aberdeen Standard said the firm was reviewing its private equity operating model in order to ensure “regional agility and independence with overarching global connectivity”.

“We have established a Global Private Equity Committee, chaired by Peter McKellar, global head of private markets. The remit of this group is to ensure global private equity and venture capital activities are, to the extent required, co-ordinated. As a result of these changes, Graham McDonald will be leaving the business.

“Graham leaves with our thanks and best wishes for the future.”

McDonald became head of Aberdeen Standard’s £28 billion ($36 billion; €32.3 billion) private equity business in January 2018 after the merger of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments.

He joined Aberdeen as head of private equity in April 2014, having held managerial positions in the fund investment teams of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, Lloyds Banking Group and Bank of Scotland, according to his LinkedIn page.

Aberdeen Standard manages more than 100 private equity vehicles, including many separately managed accounts and customised funds of funds mandates.

US-focused fund of funds Aberdeen US Private Equity VIII is in market targeting $350 million, according to PEI data. It has raised $327 million since launch in April. Aberdeen Standard Secondary Opportunities Fund IV has been in market since December 2018 targeting $500 million.

McDonald’s next steps are not clear.